Eco-Living Magazine

A Focus on the Environment in City Planning May Be Cleveland’s Saving Grace

Posted on the 12 December 2011 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

cleveland A Focus on the Environment in City Planning May Be Clevelands Saving Grace

Going green is starting to become big time business for, well, businesses, but also city planners. While citizens have been doing their part since the news of environmental degradation and human caused climate change have become well known phenomena – by voting with their dollars by buying things like solar panels for their homes and hybrid cars to drive to work – the government is often a bit behind. That is changing and each year, honors are given to the “greenest” cities in the country who are doing their part to change the way the run in order to be greener, more efficient, and reduce their impact on the environment. Likewise, there are also lists of the least green cities and Cleveland, Ohio is sadly often on the latter list, until now.

Most people don’t see industrial cities such as Cleveland as being green places. Cities like Cleveland suffer greatly from the economic blights plaguing our country and is a community that is based on industry. However, as their economy has continued to dovetail, city planners have moved to make changes to make Cleveland a greener and better place to live, and it is working. After years of being America’s poster child of a nation on the decline, certain areas of the city are being revitalized and it is catching on.

This revitalization is as a result of zoning and public transportation. Certain areas of the city are being rezoned to be mixed use. That means there is a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial all in the same area, as opposed to being in discrete, separate areas of the community.

This, in and of itself, makes the area greener as it allows for walkability. People can now walk from where they live to where they work and shop. Cleveland has also beefed up its public transportation – adding access to the city center to the “uptown” area of the city – allowing people to use public transportation, as opposed to driving, into the city. The increased coverage of public transportation has been a success, and the area has seen over twelve million riders in the last three years!

Plans are underway to create new rail stops and pedestrian walking areas are already in use. Walkability is becoming a big focus for city planning in Cleveland which is not only make the city greener, but making the quality of life more pleasant. This is positive news to cities across the nation, Cleveland is a city synonymous with decline, but now, it looks as though the city has a bright future and can be an example for other cities to take to make their communities greener, better places to live.

Image Credit: DigipixGuy

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